So, you want to write an e-book, but one of the questions you’re wrestling with is, do e-books still sell? Has their heyday come and gone, or are e-books still a viable online income source?
You will most likely be thinking about an e-book that passes along information and knowledge that you have obtained. Most of these books are generally short in length, between 5,000 and 20,000 words, but whether short or long, you’re going to have to devote some time and energy to the effort, and you don’t want that work wasted. Put another way, you don’t want to spend time and energy on something nobody is interested in.
People do still buy e-books
They buy them from bloggers and online business owners they trust, admire and respect. As long as you develop a strong relationship with your audience first, and provide them lots of usable, free value, you will have a marketplace that will willingly pay you good money for more information that solves a big problem in their lives.
Instead of asking if people still buy e-books, your question should be, “Why would someone buy an e-book from me?” In other words, give someone a reason to purchase information from you. When you earn their trust first by improving their lives with your blog or website, you create interested prospects that will definitely be interested in paying for your knowledge or expertise.
Success here is all about understanding your market intimately. You must also know your potential customers inside and out. The topic you write about should be something you do extremely well, or can research exhaustively. You should make the delivery process painless and instant.
When someone decides to pull the trigger on purchasing an e-book from you, they are hungry for that information “right now”. Make sure your sales delivery process is smooth, safe and secure, and gets your information into their virtual hands instantly. Do all of these things, and you will have personal proof that e-books still sell extremely well.
Or, should I write a course?
E-books are a simple way for a blogger or some other type of online business owner to begin making money online. If you have a lot of knowledge on a particular subject, you can write a simple e-book that can really help people in your niche or market in a few days or weeks. Some very successful e-books were written in an afternoon, in just a few short hours.
But as to whether you should produce a course instead, the answer partially lies in how much of a time and effort investment you want to make. E-books are generally short and sweet, and get right to the point. They teach a process or share information, and almost always cost less than a digital or physical course. If you are just dipping your toes into the online business world, this is the quickest way to offer something of value for sale.
As opposed to e-books, courses can generate more money per sale. There is a greater perceived value in a course, rather than an e-book. Your course can be delivered through a membership site, or through an instant digital download of video and/or audio files. Remember that a course is going to take a lot more time and effort to complete an e-book, in most cases.
Another reason to choose a course over an e-book depends on what you are trying to teach. If showing a process rather than explaining it is the best way to get your information across, you can’t beat video. Recording videos of yourself performing yoga poses and compiling them into a course, rather than showing still pictures or illustrations in an e-book, will deliver a better experience for someone buying that type of information.
Start with an e-Book, build to a course
Bloggers and online business builders just getting started should usually start with a simple e-book. Your first effort at monetizing your online piece of real estate is not going to be the greatest you ever produce. You will get better with time however, and can use the lessons learned to later publish a course which not only makes more money for you than an e-book on a per-unit basis, but gives you the opportunity to share more in-depth information and knowledge with your online audience.